Sony Must Pay Million Dollars Over PlayStation Australia
Sony Europe–of which Sony Australia is a branch–has today faced charges from the Australian Competition And Consumer Commission (ACCC) for misleading customers about their consumer rights. The Federal Court of Australia has hit Sony with $3.5 million AU (about $2.4 million US) in penalty charges”making false and misleading information on its website and in deals with Australian customers about their Australian Consumer Law (ACL) rights.”
The court found that Sony Europe had misled four customers as soon as they purchased games called”faulty” through the PlayStation Network. Sony informed clients that they were not eligible for a refund when the game had been downloadedor if 14 days has passed since the purchase, which isn’t in line with Australian consumer laws.
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Proceedings for this instance began one year past , and there’s precedent for similar cases in Australia, such as the 2014 case against Valve.
In a statement, ACCC chair Rod Sims asserted that Sony gave clients false advice. “Consumer warranty rights do not expire after an electronic product has been downloaded and certainly do not disappear after 14 days or some other arbitrary date maintained by a game store or developer,” he said. “Consumers who buy digital products online have the exact very same rights as they would if they made the purchase in a physical store.”
Furthermore, Sony Europe is said to have breached Australian law by telling one customer that just the game’s developer will authorize a refund, and another they were only entitled to a refund in the form of digital store credit. “Refunds beneath the customer guarantees must also be given in cash or cash transfer if the consumer originally paid in a few of these manners, unless the customer chooses to receive store credit,” Sims stated.
The sport or games aren’t specified. In May, the ACCC ordered Australian retailer EB Games to repay clients who had bought Fallout 76 at launching and then found themselves not able to return it–it is unclear if the two cases are related.
Sony Europe will be made to cover some of the ACCC’s legal costs as part of their fees.
Sony is set to show the PlayStation 5 soon, but the reveal scheduled for this week was delayed following the passing of George Floyd. A new statement date has not yet been revealed yet, but we hope to hear news about first-party games as well as the hardware itself.